The tip of his index finger feels light against my skin. He taps, blends, and smears ever so gently.
“I love you and I think you’re beautiful,” he says.
It’s yet another black eye. This one, courtesy of the six-foot-tall bedpost in our bedroom. The arrangement of the furniture in the room hadn’t changed, but evidently, my brain had. I’m older. It’s hard to remember everything all the time. Where am I walking? Which way am I turned? What wall am I facing?
So, into the bedpost I walked. Another black eye. This one, though, just seemed to heal more slowly than the ones before. Another change of aging.
As his fingertip swirls the beige putty that hides the blueish reminder of my memory lapse, I realize one thing has not changed. He loves me gently. He loves me well. He loves me in ways that no one really could imagine.
He wipes a smear of eyeliner; he blends concealer against my aging skin. He calms an unruly tuft of hair that insists on being taller than it should be. He fingers it back into place. He tells me I’m beautiful. I realize that the tender movement of his fingertip on my cheek is as powerful an expression of love as a kiss or embrace. In fact, it may be a more powerful expression of love.
We stand in our kitchen, all the possible formulas to conceal my bruise displayed across the island. Tubes, brushes, sponges, bottles. He tries different blends, different combinations.
“How about this tube? Is this a lighter shade?”
He changes his approach in his application. Instead of the brush, he tries a sponge. Instead of the tube, he tries a pump of the bottle. This is my PhD husband, I think as he pulls away to check his work. This is the man I get frustrated with when he works on his computer too long or leaves his dirty clothes on the bedroom floor.
This is the man who has never, never, never not taken care of me.
Time has stretched us and softened us and stressed us. Time has changed both of us. But what hasn’t changed is his willingness to do whatever it takes to help me try to be the best me I can be. He helps me hide the bruise so I can face my day with confidence. He looks at my face, studies the bruise to cover it, but doesn’t see it at all.
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He sees that I am beautiful so that I feel beautiful. I don’t think he realizes how the one gentle touch of his index finger communicates who he really is.
Sure, he makes mistakes and lets stress get the best of him from time to time. But, this … this consistent touch of the tip of his index finger caressing my cheek reveals a steadfast truth of who he is, who he has always been and who he will always be.
This has not changed. This will never change. The man who directs this fingertip is the man I married. A good man. The same index finger that slides across my cheek bone is the same finger that points to who he is.
And his touch points to who God is. Good, kind, consistent. His fingertip against my skin is the touch of God upon my heart.
Happy 50th Birthday to my man … I love you Phil.
Want to give Dr. Phil a birthday shout out? Leave a comment below and be sure to tag @PhilipRothschild!